This worksheet supports Common Core State Standard CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.9 and CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.9

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Trains vs. Planes (Grades 11-12)

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Trains vs. Planes

Recently, I was invited to travel to the Pacific Northwest and spend several weeks visiting my Aunt Christina and Uncle Samuel, native Oregonians, so, for days, I contemplated the best method of transportation: passenger train or jet plane. I compared a number of relevant factors, including travel time, ticket prices, and general comfort. After compiling the information, I gave a great deal of thought to the overall travel experience itself since I would be traveling across the entire breadth of the country, literally journeying from the east coast to the west. It was thousands of miles, mostly into parts of the nation I had never seen before, so I wanted to make a wise, educated decision.

The airplane was certainly the faster of the two choices, as it would take only four hours for me to traverse the length of the country if flying, while the train would take me four days. Not surprisingly, this shorter trip also meant the tickets to fly cost substantially less than those to ride. Both the plane and train were comfortable; they had plush seats and head rests, but at least on the train, if I got restless or tired of the trip, I could easily get up and walk around. Instead of a typical bag of peanuts and an expensive beverage, trains also offered dining cars with full, delicious meals.

Perhaps the biggest factor contributing to my final decision, however, was the vast panorama of scenery I would see passing by outside the train window, as compared to the view from the airplane. While I was eager to experience every element of the Pacific Northwest my relatives wanted to share with me, I was equally enthusiastic about observing the various terrains between the two coasts, including mountain ranges, coast lines, and forests full of pine trees. The debate finally came to an end; I was taking the train across the country so it was time for “All aboard!”
What travel factor did both methods of transportation share?
  1. The food offered during the journey
  2. The time spent during travel
  3. The opportunity to see the country
  4. The cost of the tickets
What factor convinced the narrator to choose the train?
  1. The length of the journey
  2. The scenery during the trip
  3. The comfort of the ride
  4. The time spent in travel
Which question was the narrator of the story trying to answer?
  1. How long does it take to cross from one coast to the other?
  2. What are the best things to do while in the Pacific Northwest?
  3. What is the best way to travel across the entire country?
  4. Why do people tend to take planes more often than trains?

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